Motivation according to Kelley (2014) is the ‘process through which managers build the desire to be productive and effective in their employees’. If an employee is motivated, they are more likely to be productive and generally staff turnover is low. The problem of worker motivation is that workers are not seen as humans, they have a lack of freedom at the workplace and lack of job fulfilment. Taylor and McGregor Theory X argue that there is not a problem with worker motivation, workers will be obedient because of fear of losing their job motivates them to do well. Whereas Maslow and McGregor’s Theory Y argues that there is a problem with worker motivation because of class conflict between the worker and the manager. The worker is after more than just economic benefits, they long for personal fulfilment and freedom. A Marxist view is that the managers are exploiting the workers and that there is class conflict. This essay will outline and identify if there is a problem with worker motivation, and will introduce a brief description of motivation and capitalism. If problems are identified with worker motivation possible solutions will be provided. The essay will go into detail about Maslow and McGregor’s theories X and Y and refer to Taylorism. Lastly a conclusion will be made on the more befitting and justifiable argument.
According to Casey et al. (2012) motivation stimulates people to do things with the use of ‘incentives’. Intrinsically motivated behaviour is when a person performs well for his or her own sake. Whereas extrinsically motivated behaviour is when motivation arises from necessities for security, job and pay (Casey et al, 2012). According to Petroni, A, & Colacino, P (2008), there are three methods used to motivate workers, which include ‘formal structures, incentives and informal management techniques’. An example of motivation is when production workers began tracking their performances in an attempt to break the record (Haefner, 2011). Their highest record was set when the workers continued to work after their shift; they decided to no longer take their breaks. The reason for this success was changing management style from Theory X (does not trust workers) to Theory Y (does trust workers). This shows the impact freedom can have on employees and how it motivates them to work harder to increase production and output.
To understand the problem of worker motivation we must understand Capitalism. Capitalism involves conflicts of interests between management and workers. According to Knights and Willmott (2012) Marxism is when workers are described as a ‘social animal rather than a self-seeking individual’. They further state that production is motivated by the ‘pursuit of profit and the accumulation of capital’. This shows that managers are more interested in profit than workers needs. Similarly Taylor states that motivation comes from money and profit for management, whereas workers would...